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Can J Appl Physiol. 2005 Jun;30(3):304-12.

Insulin sensitivity in skeletal muscle regulated by a hepatic hormone, HISS.

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  • 1Dept. of Pharmacology & Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Manitoba, 753 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.


The current state of the HISS (hepatic insulin sensitizing substance) hypothesis is briefly outlined. In the postmeal absorptive state, 50-60% of the glucose storage action of insulin is accounted for by the actions of HISS released from the liver and acting on skeletal muscle. Hepatic parasympathetic nerves permissively regulate the ability of a pulse of insulin to release HISS, thereby potentiating the impact of insulin in the fed state. HISS release in response to insulin decreases progressively with fasting to create a physiological state of HISS-dependent insulin resistance. HISS release is regulated by parasympathetic nerves via muscarinic receptors and nitric oxide, and insulin resistance of skeletal muscle produced by hepatic denervation is reversed by intraportal but not intravenous acetylcholine or a nitric oxide donor. It is suggested that HISS-dependent insulin resistance occurs in animal models including sucrose-fed rats, spontaneously hypertensive rats, chronic liver disease, fetal alcohol effect in the adult offspring, and type 2 diabetes.

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